The risk of community-acquired pneumonia in children using gastric acid suppressants.

With the increased use of acid suppressants, significant potential complications, such as community-acquired pneumonia are becoming more apparent. Paradoxically, in spite of an increased focus on potential complications, there is an increased use of acid suppressants in children and a lack of data specifically targeting the association between acid suppressants and community-acquired pneumonia. Our main objective was to evaluate the risk of community-acquired pneumonia in children using acid suppressants (proton pump inhibitors and/or histamine-2-receptor antagonists).We performed a cohort study using data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. All patients aged 1 month to 18 years with a prescription of acid suppressants were included and matched to up to 4 unexposed children. Time-varying Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the risk of community-acquired pneumonia. The cohort consisted of 84 868 exposed and 325 329 unexposed children.Current use of proton pump inhibitors and histamine-2-receptor antagonists was associated with an increased risk of community acquired pneumonia, adjusted hazard ratio 2.05 (95% CI 1.90 to 2.22) and 1.80 (95% CI 1.67 to 1.94), respectively. The risk was even greater in patients with respiratory disease. Long term use >211 days of proton pump inhibitors and histamine-2-receptor antagonists led to a significantly greater risk of community-acquired pneumonia compared to short term use <31 days. After cessation of therapy, the risk remained increased for the following 7 months.The use of acid suppressants in children was associated with a doubled risk of community-acquired pneumonia. This risk increased with chronic use, respiratory disease and remained increased after discontinuation of therapy.


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Authors: Linda J T M van der Sande, Quirijn Jöbsis, Michiel A G E Bannier, Ewoudt M W van de Garde, Jan J M Coremans, Frank de Vries, Edward Dompeling, Johanna H M Driessen